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MIT and Google Team Up to Create Transformable Office Pods

MIT and Google Team Up to Create Transformable Office Pods

The MIT School of Architecture’s Self-Assembly Lab has teamed up with Google to create Transformable Meeting Spaces, a project that utilizes woven structure research in wood and fiberglass pods that descend from the ceiling, transforming a large space into a smaller one. Designed as a small-scale intervention for reconfiguring open office plans—which “have been shown to decrease productivity due to noise and privacy challenges”—the pods require no electromechanical systems to function, but rather employ a flexible skeleton and counterweight to change shape.

This skeleton is composed of 36 fiberglass rods, which are woven together into a sort of textile or cylindrical braid. Thus, the structure behaves “like a Chinese finger trap: The circumference of the pod shrinks when it’s pulled, and expends when relaxed.”

Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab Courtesy of Unknown Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab + 7

Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab
Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab
Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab
Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab

Expanded fully, the pods measure about ten feet in diameter and eight feet tall, providing space for up to eight people to either sit or stand inside.

Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab
Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab

Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab
Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab

Furthermore, the inside of the spaces are lined with felt, so as to dampen outside noise.

Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab
Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab

We’ve had four people sitting in there at tables, or standing in there for a meeting, said MIT Self-Assembly Lab’s co-director, Skylar Tibbits. We also thought it could be a sort of nap pod. It’s more about the transformation of space rather than trying to present what happens in that space. We’re just trying to create different capabilities.

Research on the project is ongoing, and in the future, will be concentrated on applying these transformable materials to larger-scale architectural practice, for instance in retractable stadium roofs. With such technology, the Lab hopes that stadium roofs or even stadiums themselves, among other systems, could be collapsed after use without major disturbances to the urban landscape.

Learn more about the project here.

News via Fast Company Design and the MIT Self-Assembly Lab.

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About this author
Cite: Sabrina Santos. "MIT and Google Team Up to Create Transformable Office Pods " 04 Oct 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/796317/mit-and-google-team-up-to-create-transformable-office-pods/> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of MIT Self-Assembly Lab

MIT和Google联合出品变形办公舱

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